We are all still navigating our way to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While some of us remain calm and have established routines set in place to stay safe, others are still facing challenges every day. A major challenge is emotional fatigue that has already built up since we started working remotely. We might also have mixed feelings towards the idea of home-office as a long-term work model rather than a short-term solution which can additionally contribute to elevated stress levels.
As a part of a bespoke software development company – Dreamix – that works on developing tailored healthcare tools, I also currently work from home. And as such an employee, I plan to do my best to upkeep the same quality of work. That being said, I would like to go into further detail as to what I believe we should all do to contain the impact of this crisis as much as possible. The goal is to minimize the impact on the economy as much as possible. That includes making an effort to allow businesses and industries to operate as close to normal as possible under the present circumstances and worldwide restrictions.
We each have a responsibility to ourselves, our companies, our countries, and our clients. So I would like to talk more about a healthy mindset that helps each person do their best.
Preparedness and planning
It is natural to our human nature that we want to set ourselves up for success. After all, that is why we enrol ourselves in universities, strive to achieve career success, and to accumulate new knowledge continuously. Although there are areas in our lives that we can control, 2020 showed us that there are also events that we can’t account for. Such an unexpected event was the hit of the COVID-19 virus. Almost a year now, we as a global society function primarily online and we can say we are past the initial shock and confusion.
From today’s point of view, most of us have probably learned the importance of taking small steps in our own work and the value of a stable and adequate work routine. Time management proved to be an essential quality to make our adaptation to remote work as smooth less as possible and to effectively plan daily work activities.
This includes obtaining any equipment necessary for work, as well as finding ways to execute your tasks and digitalize the bulk of processes. As a part of the IT Company Marketing department, I do not need much more than a laptop and an adequate desk station. That being said, I made sure to dedicate a separate workspace and operate on it with the same intent as in my office.
I also continue to plan out my weekly work assignments and further on my daily to-dos. Maintaining the usual routine and applying it to all aspects of my professional work that I can has helped me stay effective and productive even in this unusual situation.
Self-assessment and Accountability
When working closely with colleagues, managers, supervisors, and clients directly and face-to-face, it is much easier to stay accountable. However, from the comfort of your own home, when real human interaction is disrupted and your teammates are not around, it can be harder to stay accountable for work assignments and deliver the same work quality. That being said, we must do two things to stay on track and finish our projects.
The first one is to remain available during work hours – maintaining as much of the needed regular communication as possible. The way we function as social human beings require us to seek support from and interact with others. Most probably, you are not the only one in your company who is negatively affected by lockdowns and social isolation. Be proactive and drop a line in Slack to your colleagues even if you don’t have a scheduled meeting. You will both appreciate and benefit from it.
The second thing is to become self-accountable and be able to evaluate your own performance. You can consider measuring your personal performance and productivity with quantifiable metrics. For instance, set daily goals regarding today’s most urgent tasks and devote most of your time to them. Also, you can have regular check-ins with yourself about the quality of work you are producing. After you finish writing your code, give it a second look tomorrow and see if you can make any adjustments to make it run better.
If you have prepared as much as possible for your work, and if you are open about assessing the work you are producing, you will likely find things you would like to improve. And that is perfectly natural, not to mention that cultivating this skill is a big step in personal development.
When you find issues with your working process and acknowledge them as being inefficient, it is the perfect time to take an in-depth look. Firstly, be honest with yourself and identify the reason behind the problems. You can then find ways to improve your processes in a way that makes them more sustainable in the long run and more effective in the current work environment.
Over time my working processes have evolved drastically – all through seemingly minor tweaks one at a time. This results in efficient planning methods and can find issues with my work and correct them timely. A powerful but underestimated technique is to simply check off accomplished tasks – this will boost both your motivation and satisfaction. Look at the current remote work situation as an opportunity to become less reliant on your surroundings and improve your accountability as a professional.
Personal Responsibility Leads to Organizational Success
Right now, we need to keep things running as smoothly as could be. This means that every employee has a personal responsibility to do their part. This leads to organizational success and a more overall stable economy to return to once we can contain and get through the pandemic.
What do you believe you could improve the way you approach working from home? Do you believe that you have a responsibility to do your part in keeping your company running smoothly?